Hope Hall, Exeter

Hello you.

This Sunday (26 June 2016) I’m playing at Hope Hall in Exeter in Devon. Gonna be a great night. The amazing Jess Vincent headlining. New songs, The Red Café songs, older songs. If you can make it, it’d be great to see you. A lovely evening in store. Send you home happy.

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(Photo by David Leyland)

Thursday 19 May

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(Photo: Mark Entwisle)

Hello you.

Last week we started work on a short film (a video!) to go with the title track of the new record, The Red Café. Tonight we have a night-shoot—at a café—to get the rest of it done. Directed by Graham Trott who also did the video for Being Young in 2014. Playing a piano and looking arty: it’s what I do. The edit will be on Friday and my eldest son will be in-charge. We’ll be going into the night to get it right. All being well, you’ll be able to see it on Monday. The song is one of my absolute favourites I’ve written.

This weekend I’m off up north to do an album launch gig for The Red Café with Pete Greenwood and Lisa Marie Glover. It’s at the Hyde Park Book Club in Leeds at 7.00 p.m. on Saturday 21 May. If that’s near you, it’d be lovely to see you. Truly great songs aplenty AND coffee. Come and say hello.

There’s also another launch in London at the Green Note in Camden next Thursday 26 May (link takes you to tickets). I’m sharing the bill with Jess Vincent. It’s her gig really but she’s such a nice person that she’s let me hijack proceedings. Come and see us both. We’re gonna sing something together though the rehearsal for that may be half an hour before stage time. Gonna be a fab night.

Listen, I gotta go. The Red Café is out on Monday 23 May and there’s a page here somewhere where you can order that album along with my previous records.

Be good.

PJM

The continuing adventures of me, me, me…

Hello you.

Been playing some nice gigs with Jinder, Jess Vincent and, on Tuesday just gone, Kris Drever.

Kettering and Nottingham with Jinder were knockout as ever. Main memory of that weekend however is drinking red wine from teacups till 4.00 a.m. I’m too old for this.

Last week I played a couple of benefit gigs. The beneficiaries being those poor sods stuck in Calais. One was with Jess Vincent in Bristol; happy memories of a very tired sound man. The other was here in my home town of Bridport at the Soulshine Café.

This week I was up in London doing a gig with Kris Drever. I opened one of the (sold out) shows for him at the Green Note in Camden. One hell of a guitarist and singer and some songs that land feelings that most of us find it hard to get a handle on. A really lovely audience, too.

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I’m back at the Green Note for a double-bill with Jess Vincent on the 26 May (just before The Red Café comes out on 23). Jess is such a positive force; you can’t stay grumpy in her company for long. Looking forward to it very much. We’re thinking of doing one or two songs together. Harmonies and everything.

Some nice words coming in bit by bit as people start to get review copies of The Red Café. When the choice quotes arrive, I’ll post them here for you to marvel at.

Boo Hewerdine said he’d phone today. He didn’t. I, on the other hand, bought his new CD today. That should do it.

I’ve made some nice friends in music.

Be good.

PJM

The Red Café—SYNOPSIS

Here’s a thought on each of the eleven new songs on The Red Café (out 23 May):

Dreaming Of A Time – a song about patience and longing.

Hook On The Line – a song about hope and togetherness.

This River – a song about tipping my Dad’s ashes into the river in Lynmouth in Devon.

None Of This – a song about recovering from a mid-life crisis.

Who To Blame – a song about a mid-life crisis.

(Why Won’t My) Dreams Take Flight – a song about frustration.

The Red Café – a song about remembering and forgetting.

Sweet Valentine – a song about a love lost.

Again – a song about a love found.

Drawing A Line – a song about standing up for who you are.

Victory Lap – a song about Glen Campbell and his art.

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New Record news: The Red Café

 

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My second studio album, The Red Café, is out on 23 May.

The record that I assumed would be my second—the one I made with Boo Hewerdine last year (which is absolutely beautiful and is called True and False)—will be out later this year with any luck. But I still had other songs in the works: some finished, some half-finished; ideas that related well to each other. So I spent this winter working very hard (my version of work, that is… you know…) on writing and recording. What I made has ended up with no option but to become The Red Café.

I couldn’t be more delighted with it. I wrote, recorded and mixed it here at home in Bridport, Dorset with help from a few talented friends.

The Red Café grew into the space between other projects. In this space, stories started to emerge.

Glimpses of people passing-by in animated conversation got me thinking; phrases picked up from books and elsewhere did too; faces in the photographs I made stood out in my mind. Whole new songs began to form.

Hook On The Line (single – out 1 April 2016) was written after watching—from a café window—all the people going off to work one rainy morning. It ended up with a lazy feel on the record; I’m not sure why. The song The Red Café’ was written at the piano wondering at the life of a woman in a painting. The whole song kind of ‘appeared’ in one go and I don’t know how but I think I managed to keep all the pathos intact on the record with just the sound of my creaking old piano. Victory Lap was written after watching a documentary on the life of Glen Campbell. It’s the oldest song on the album and it’s found a home with just guitar and the right feel. For the song Again, a song about love rediscovered, I changed tack halfway through the recording and pushed myself to make my electric guitar playing sound more like Johnny Marr than Johnny Cash.

As a songwriter and photographer I always find myself on the outside looking in; witnessing other lives, relating them to my own. Turning them into stories that I’m once again on the outside of.

‘I’m not scared of many writers but, Jesus… that song’  Pete Greenwood on The Red Café.

‘Just lovely…’  Ricky Ross

‘A gorgeous album…’  American Roots UK

‘That song is SO beautiful…’  Chris Evans (BBC Radio 2)

There’s gonna be a handful of album launch dates. In cafés. I know: it’s either coffee or I’m not playing. These are still being scheduled. The only confirmed date so far is on 21 May at the Hyde Park Book Club in Leeds. Pete Greenwood and Lisa Marie Glover are joining me on the bill. 4—7 p.m. Unnecessarily brilliant songwriting for a Saturday afternoon. Nice and civilised. Tell your friends if that’s near you. London, Cardiff and here in the South West are also on the cards. Watch this space for details.